NYCHA tenants receive face masks after reports of COVID-19 deaths

On the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new mandate that everyone wear face coverings, at least 1,000 residents in Brownsville received one.

The lined wrapped around the block Wednesday with NYCHA residents in Brownsville getting personal protection equipment.

Borough President Eric Adams' office came out four weeks ago to distribute masks for essential workers, but now, Adams regrets not offering it to everyone.

"This is something that we should have done before," Adams said. "I'm sorry that it took this long."

Adams and Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel claim there are reports that a dozen seniors died in one NYCHA complex, likely due to the coronavirus.

Both leaders are calling on NYCHA to make changes.

"We should have had a plan in place, a strategy, to make sure that we were in contact with each and every senior that lives in our public housing buildings and there was no plan in place and this was about prevention," said Ampry-Samuel.

The Tenant Association president says the community has been overlooked at a time when people need to come together.

More masks will be distributed to dozens of NYCHA developments across the city.

A statement from Barbara Brancaccio, chief communications officer said, "It is a tragedy that we have lost members of our NYCHA community to COVID-19, and we are grieving with the families that we serve. NYCHA is working with our City agency and nonprofit partners to outreach residents and connect them with health information and services, wellness checks, mental health services, meals and host of other support services. We have made 37,693 individual phone calls, and have personally spoken to 19,961 of our most vulnerable residents to confirm first-hand that they understand the precautions regarding COVID-19, and to identify whether they have any special needs. We need our elected officials to support these efforts, not place blame for a virus that knows no bounds, and impacts every single senior and non-senior New York City resident, as well as billions of people around the world."